When the summer the locust flew in we had
to walk down the middle of the road
avoiding their frenzy, jumping out at us
from somewhere between corn and soy fields
and the dark cool woodlands. The thick air
stuck to your skin like a warm wet blanket.
They called it The Land of a Thousand Lakes,
“and a million bugs”, we’d add with laughter.
Three-quarters of a mile down the road
sat the old General Store – weathered plank
construction, board walk and sign. I remember
the screen door’s rusty voice as you entered
to purchase something cold. We liked snow cones,
Yohos and thumbing through the comic books.
The old man kept shop and didn’t mind
our presence, it was something to pass the time.
On our way home, we would get “sun silly”
telling jokes and making up funny rhymes.
Maybe we’d pick some berries; raspberries
or blue, staining our hands and lips with flavor
painted smiles. Time lingered then, I’m certain
of that. Memory recalls moments in
slow rolling waves of heat mirages
somewhere distant. It seems that even the sun
hesitated it’s descent, creating the
tiger skies and blue thunder moons of youth.
– Previously Published 1993